Dec 24, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer
The National Geographic Explorer arrived at Useful Island, so named because whalers could easily climb to the top and get a 360-degree view of the surrounding waters to look for whales. Many guests followed their route and headed for the top of the island towards the navigational aid. Other guests boarded Zodiacs for a cruise around the island in search of whales to photograph.
It wasn’t long before several naturalists spotted a large gathering of gentoo penguins floating on the water’s surface. Suddenly a humpback whale surfaced adjacent to the Zodiacs and guests were treated to some superb views of these fantastic creatures. It was obvious both the whale and the penguins were taking advantage of the rich supply of krill in that particular spot.
With the morning’s activities wrapped
The afternoon was spent exploring Neko Harbor which takes its name from a whaling ship operated throughout this region. The sun was out, the water was like a pond, and the surrounding scenery was dramatic. As some guests got up close with gentoo penguins on land, others cruised in Zodiacs watching several humpback whales feeding among the broken ice and icebergs. It was a magical afternoon enjoyed by all.
Christmas celebrations commenced on board that evening followed by a breathtaking journey through the spectacular Lemaire Passage. It was truly a red-letter day in Antarctica—one where dreams for many guest and staff came true.
Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.